Los Angeles Home Prices Are Out Of Control

in #life4 years ago (edited)

Stating the Obvious

I moved around a lot when I was a kid. It was pretty normal to me to only stay in one house for a year or two. You see, like a lot of kids, my dad was in the military and we ended up getting moved around a lot. It was always bizarre to me that there existed full grown adults who had never left their birth state for decades.

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We mostly ended up in the eastern states such as Ohio, Kentucky and Alabama but also stayed in Germany for 3 years in the early 80s. As I got older, I started to get an idea of what it cost to live in different places. Of course in Germany we lived on base, so I never really learned what the cost of living is over there. However, I remember spending the summer with my Aunt in my hometown of Dayton Ohio and I overheard her talking about what she paid for her house.

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My Aunt lived in an awesome 2 story house as far as I was concerned. It had a huge backyard, 4 bedrooms, a basement and a massive family room. In the back there was a detached 2 car garage. Sadly the garage was packed from top to bottom with junk that my Aunt and Uncle had collected over the years.

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Guess what my aunt paid for that house? A whopping $35,000. That was in the mid 80s. In fact, I looked the house up recently and it still only goes for about $55k. Just about everywhere I've lived has been pretty much like this. You could get all kinds of house for under $100k if you look hard. But that was before I moved to Southern California.

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This is what a multi-million dollar home looks like in Los Angeles, complete with a skyscraper in the background. I wouldn't pay $20k for a house like that anywhere in the country. We were running errands yesterday and parked on this street in Beverly Hills yesterday. As we walked along we were thinking about how insanely inflated prices are around here.

In fact, the houses are basically worthless. The tiny lots themselves are what's worth the millions of dollars. Near where we live in San Pedro, it is still relatively expensive. A shack the size of the above pictured would still run you about 600,000 bucks. The problem is, you have to live here to make a ton of money in our industry, but it costs so much to live here, so it's quite a conundrum.

My only home is that someday someone invents instantaneous travel so that I can live wherever I want, and commute via transporter beam!

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That transporter beam stuff I was hoping would happen when I was still a kid! ..... And then I watched The Fly

Yes, house prices are crazy - even in the small town in Alberta, Canada, where I lived. I still own the house, but I now live in Vienna, Austria for these past 10 years. My ex and my son live in that house at present (a 4-level split). I bought it in 78 for $ 47.000 - now the small lot it is sitting on is worth at least 3 times as much if not more. The situation is as extreme as you describe in centers like Vancouver or Toronto. When I worked for the railroad in -Canada, company officers had their moves subsidized by the company, but not the regular working stiffs (unless you got displaced because of closure, and then it was negotiated by the union, but not when you transferred voluntarily).
PS: the last image looks depressing, but somewhat familiar - similar as in downtown LA - not "Los Angeles", but "Lethbridge Alberta".

That is insane! I thought I was paying a lot when we paid $125k for our small place just a couple of years ago. It is in a great neighborhood and stuff but still. It is pretty crazy. What are your other options really though? Live out of the city, but then you have a 2 hour commute each way every day? That is almost worse! That cuts into your time with your family which is more precious than money. It's all a racket!

That's pretty much the gist of it. Either we pay the insane cost of living, or deal with an insane commute. When we first moved to California, we thought, "I know, we can live up in Valencia!"

On the map, it looked like it was quite close to all of the clients we were working with. However, getting on Interstate 5 in the morning was a joke. One day I had to go drop off some work in Torrance which isn't really all that far distance-wise. However, I got on the highway and it was back to back traffic. It took me 2 hours to move 1 mile to the next exit, only to give up and go home. It is ridiculous around here!

I can't even imagine. I have a half hour commute each morning but it is clear sailing.

Sorry to say, but LA missed the boat and shot itself in the foot getting rid of the greatest commuter system in the world at that time!


I live in Vienna, Austria, and the longest commute (including walking from and to the stations) is maybe 45 minutes! Our Commuter Service in Vienna: Wiener Linien (click for English on top of the page, but if you understand German, the German Page has more info, the English is more directed to tourists))
Here is a smart city in the USA that didn't cave to the GM Conspiracy: San Diego and Seattle is also expanding its commuter system.

That's craziness. We lived in downtown LA for 6 months back in 2007. Rent for apt was $1,600 month which was pretty cheap compared to these days..Im sure

Yeah, that is right around the time that we moved here. The first place we lived in Los Angeles was Hawthorne in the ghetto. Even that termite infested dump cost us about 1600 per month. It has only gotten worse!

That's insane - how can you survive paying that much? In Canada I paid $ 650.- a month mortgage for my house which I had bought in 78. I burned the mortgage in 95 (I think, can't remember exactly). I still own the house, though I live in Vienna, Austria now for these past 10 years. My son lives in the house now.

Well, I always say to people that you can make a ton of money in LA, but you spend a lot. We actually moved to Florida for 3 years a while back and bought an amazing home on several acres. But we have to give up a lot of clients who wouldn't work so remotely. We eventually picked up and moved back here because it was becoming impractical!

My wife works with all the toy companies around LA, and they like to be able to easily use a courier service to send work back and forth. They pay really good money because the cost of living is so high here! But if you move just far enough away to get better prices, suddenly you are too far to get work.

It is a vicious circle!

That's an incredible amount of money for that type of house you pictured there in Beverley Hills. What struck me most about your post is that you say you can buy houses around America for under $100k and get a decent house for that price. I'm sat here shocked that your Aunty's house is now worth $55k. In Britain the property prices would make you cry. For people who aren't rich an average 3 bedroom house in a semi-decent area will set you back at least £170,000, I guess that's around $200,000. The market is so screwed up here and is the reason I probably won't be able to ever get on the housing ladder in my own country which is a disgrace really. I am part of what's now termed 'generation rent' and it really is quite depressing. I don't see what will change to improve the situation other than buying property on the continent.

Yeah, in middle America house prices are really low. It really depends on how willing you are to live out in the middle of nowhere, or in a city with no great jobs like my hometown of Dayton Ohio:

https://www.zillow.com/homes/dayton-ohio_rb/

My wife is from Newmarket (Suffolk) so I know all about UK house prices. They are insane considering the average wage of a British citizen. The nice thing about living in England though is that most people live nearer to everything than the average American, being that it's such a small country.

Oh man that's it I'm moving to the states! Why did you show me that? Lol! Suffolk's not a bad old county, lots of green space there. Yes we are a small country in terms of land size for sure. I think that's another reason I am so sick of the entire situation over here. We are too many people on a small island, on mostly very low wages incurring very high expenditure for basic necesseties like a home we can own. This creates a disaffected nation.

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